This years Whiskey Live Dublin show marked a quantitative shift in the fortunes of Irish Whiskey.
The number of new releases on display for the first time was breathtaking – and a bit of a challenge to appreciate in only one session.
Not only new releases though.
New whiskey companies were also in attendance. Companies previously inhabiting websites with ‘under construction’ on the display page were now in full flow offering tangible products to taste.
My game plan was clear – try as many of them as time – and my well being – permitted.
In no particular order – this is what I found.
The Celtic Whiskey Shop had again done a marvelous job collating all 16 Irish Whiskey Distilleries with mature stock into this fabulous blend. More flavoursome & complex than last years.
I did a Hinch vertical – one of the new companies currently building their distillery. The peated piqued my palate – but the Small Batch pleased too.
Another new company – Proud Irish – had 2 offerings of a rather easy entry market style. Perhaps more for the tourists?
Killowen impressed with this Dark Rum Cask Blend. Their new make wasn’t bad either!
The Gelston’s range from Halewood was far too extensive for a vertical tasting so the 5yo Sherry Cask sufficed. Word of a new distillery too!
Yes! The return of smoky dry peat to Irish Whiskey was greatly appreciated.
As was this sweet yet nuanced single grain single cask first whiskey offering from Lough Ree in Longford.
Lough Gill in Sligo displayed their trio of exquisitely aged single malts showing varying finishing styles.
Irish Whiskey has moved on from simply revival – the renaissance is here – courtesy of Teeling’s new 18yo offering.
Connacht’s new 5yo was a bit too sweet for my palate – but the 12yo version in the background hit the spot.
Despite the depth & complexity of the 17yo – the peat of Bill Phil won out on these fabulous whiskeys from W.D.O’Connell.
Staying on a peated path – Celtic Cask 25 didn’t disappoint.
The latest 16yo Egan’s Legacy was more of a traditional style.
While newcomers Wayward Spirits offered their dark & brooding port cask finished Liberator Blend.
I was pleased to hear the Crumlin Gaol Distillery is still in the mix with this very well presented blended whisky – minus the ‘e’.
It also marked my final tasting at the show. Although on the train home I did crack open a miniature & sang away to myself!
‘I am going, I am going, Where the streams of whiskey are flowing.’
Well the streams of whiskey are certainly flowing from the stills of Irish Whiskey Distilleries!